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The Return of the Nigerian Prince Email Scam



But with a new twist.

Don’t look now, but the Nigerian Prince Email Phishing Scam – with a new twist – is making a comeback. For details, we turn to the Cybersecurity Awareness Training experts at KnowBe4.

(The following post is from Knowbe4 and is republished with permission).

“Scammers continue to get creative when it comes to current events – and this new scam is no exception.

Fraudsters are impersonating Viktor Zubkov, a close ally to Vladimir Putin with a fake email. Zubkov, who served as the 36th Prime Minister of Russia in 2007-2008, and Putin’s First Deputy Prime Minister during the presidency of Dmitry Medvedev, is also a board member of Gazprom, a state-owned energy giant.

This type of “advance fee Nigerian Prince scam” exploits a fake opportunity to get rich quick, supposedly made possible by international sanctions on Russia. In the blog is an example screenshot of the email.

Victims agree to share their accounts with the cybercriminals so “money can be transferred” and/or are being asked to pay a small sum so that they will get this large amount transferred to their account. The reality is that their bank account is drained and their private information is stolen.”

Alta Pro Insurance Services keeps you informed on cutting-edge issues that affect your practice. Every week the Pro Practice Blog posts timely and topical dispatches from the risk management front lines. We spot looming risks – like the possibilities and potential perils of cryptocurrency – and give you advance warning. We identify promising trends – like Micro Self-Care, Cybersecurity Ethics, and the One-Page Business Plan – and give you the inside scoop. We bring you live CLE webinars on topics you request, most recently “Managing a Law Practice in Uncertain Times.” Please let us know how we can help your professional practice minimize risk and maximize reward. We’re here for you.

Hackers Are Stepping Up Their Game

“Microsoft is the most used and most targeted email service in the world. After a thorough analysis of nearly three million emails, Check Point found that at the moment Microsoft Defender misses 18.8 percent of phishing emails. Their previous 2020 analysis showed 10.8 percent of phishing emails reaching inboxes, so Defender’s missed phishing rates have increased by 74 percent. This represents not a decline in Microsoft effectiveness, but rather an increase in targeted attacks designed directly to bypass Microsoft. Hackers, in other words, have stepped up their game.

Another interesting finding in the report showed that Defender sends seven percent of phishing messages to the Junk folder, so they can still be accessed by the user and possibly clicked on.

There are several areas where Defender does quite well. For example, it catches 90 percent of unknown malware, and it’s also good at spotting attacks that spoof DMARC. Only 2.5 percent of those make it through to inboxes. it also does quite well with Business Email Compromise, with only 2 percent getting through.”

Alta Pro Risk Management Note: If you’re a KnowBe4 customer, you have extra protection against this particular scam. Knowbe4 has created a template to use in defense. To find the template, go to System Templates on your Knowbe4 account. Either search by the template name (Help for the Russian people (Link)) in the search bar, or go to the Current Events category, sort by last updated, and find the name there.

SOURCE: [HEADS UP] The Old “Nigerian Prince Scam” resurfaces as “Russian Billionaire Fraud” (

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